A handful of outstanding staff members at the Leschenault Leisure Centre were recognised at the 2019 Royal Life Saving Bravery Awards on Friday, 11 October for their efforts in performing lifesaving first aid.
Leschenault Leisure Centre staff members Ryan Sanders, Samantha Hooper, David Snelling and Kellie Holm received a Gold Star and Angie Stonard and Shelby Pinner were awarded a Bravery Commendation in recognition of an aquatic rescue at the centre which saved the life of patron Ian Went in October last year.
The staff performed an aquatic rescue, CPR and application of AED on Mr Went who was found unconscious in the pool at 7.17am on October 31. Coincidentally, Mr Went was saved by the AED he had donated to the centre 10 years earlier.
Centre Manager Richard Duke commended the staff on their ability to act quickly and said acts of bravery like this highlighted the importance of training and upskilling staff at the Centre.
“All these team members received appropriate training, in some cases over many years and this reinforces the response taken when called upon to act,” Mr Duke said.
“As part of the ongoing risk assessment, we have identified a number of key staff and positions as requiring additional high-level training, such as the St John Advanced First Aid course.”
He said it was even more imperative that staff continued to be trained as “we expect to see more seniors in our community exercising and recreating in order to maintain their fitness and wellbeing, especially now the Shire has introduced free membership to LLC for over 80s.”
“We also have a new generation of people using gymnasiums and leisure centres as their main source of fitness, therefore we need to regularly maintain equipment and ensure that training is up to date and practised to be able to provide a high level of service to our clients and instil the confidence in our staff to act in an emergency.”
On a separate occasion, when driving home in March this year, 19-year-old Mr Sanders witnessed a woman have a cardiac arrest and collapsed while walking in Australind. Mr Sanders performed lifesaving CPR until the woman started breathing again and Mr Sanders continued to render first aid until the ambulance arrived.
Royal Life Saving WA accepts nominations for the Bravery Awards throughout the year, to identify and reward people in our community who have taken extraordinary actions to save, or attempt to save, another person’s life.
Royal Life Saving WA’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Leaversuch said each award recipient displayed exceptional courage, empathy and initiative by applying lifesaving skills in emergency situations and sometimes at risk to themselves.
“These individuals are an excellent example to all Western Australians and show how vitally important it is to obtain lifesaving skills. They’ve applied their skills to save another’s life, showing bravery and commitment in doing so, and deserve our highest recognition.”